Rock Hoppers

Japan's Space Agency Applied Lessons Learned to Land Jumping Robots on an Asteroid

One small misstep for a project has led to one giant leap forward for space exploration. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) made history when it landed two roving robots on a moving asteroid in September. It was the first time mobile robots landed on an asteroid. The robots will jump around, sometimes going as high as 15 meters (49 feet) into the air and staying above the surface for as long as 15 minutes to survey the asteroid's features. The robots are part of a larger JPY30 billion project to survey and gather data on the asteroid, with the hope that the information will reveal more insight into the origins of the solar system.
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